Steve Dodd

My paintings are a record of my response to the little corners of the natural world that remain on the outskirts of the city. Working en pleinair engenders a spontaneity that allows me to bypass too much conscious decision making and react with what’s in front of me. Choices of colour and composition are there in the background, as is my love of the work by artists such as Joan Eardley and Tom Thomson, but these are the underpinnings of my paintings, the real magic happens in the moment of trying to record the experience of being present outside.

There is, therefore, a conjuring act between intention and the unexpected in my work. Part of which concerns my ambivalence to the conventions of perspective and other picture making practices. Ideally, my work bypasses such limitations, but there comes a time, usually towards the end of a piece, when my desire to make a painting that would fascinate, provokes me to make rapid decisions about balancing the picture so that it will continue to have a life after the paint has finally dried.

Thankfully, working wet on wet does not allow for too much reflection. It demands a more instinctive, vital approach, that teeters just the right side of chaos and allows for the unplanned to emerge. That is when painting, for me, becomes a true joy.